Exxon Mobil CEO says oil companies were in tough position before Ukraine-Russia war

Exxon Mobil chief executive Darren Woods said that oil producers are trying to ramp up production to meet demand as prices continue to soar, but that doing so was tough even before the Ukraine crisis due to lack of U.S. investment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, the U.S. government has dialled back support for the industry in the cancelling of the Keystone Pipeline, among other efforts.

"Exxon is working to maximize production to help fill the world's increasing demand for oil as production declines in Russia," Woods said (pictured) , speaking at the CERAWeek by S&P Global conference in Houston.

"These efforts coincide with Exxon's existing goals to increase production in the Permian Basin with significant equipment changes. It’s a pretty big effort, but one we’ve been on for quite some time, I know that others in the industry are pursuing similar types of objectives."

"What you're seeing play out in the world stage today reflects the interconnectedness and challenges" of the energy industry, Woods said. "The impacts of are being felt around the world, and our industry."

He added that "the war underscores the need for global energy security." ExxonMobil announced that it would halt oil production in Russia and suspend new investments there after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, joining other energy giants in ceasing operations in Russia due to the attack.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is weighing a ban on importing Russian oil, but has been hesitant to do so over global supply concerns and the threat of prices soaring further.